Bears HC John Fox told reporters at the owners meeting this week that they’re in the process of working on a long-term extension for franchise WR Alshon Jeffery.
“They’re working at it as we speak,” Fox said. “Nobody wants to stay on the franchise tag [because] they (the league) make it kind of penalizing to do that. Anybody in the league understands that. But they are constantly working on that. Alshon is a guy we wanted back. He’s a big target and a big-time player. He actually missed a lot of time for us last year. This will give us another year to figure out where he fits and how well he fits in our system.
“They’re still working at the long-term deal. That is a work in progress; I’m sure with every franchise tagged player out there.”
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN has confirmed with a league source that Chicago and Jeffery’s representatives have engaged in multiple rounds of recent talks in the hope of getting something done.
However, it sounds like this deal could still take some time before anything is finalized.
The Bears used their franchise tag on him a few weeks ago, which leaves Jeffery in line to make $14.599 million guaranteed for the 2016 season.
It will be interesting to see where contract talks between the Bears and Jeffery go over the next few months, and if he’s able to come close to the agreements signed by Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green last year.
Jeffery, 26, was taken in the second-round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Bears. He played out the the final year of his four-year, $4.54 million rookie contract that included a $1.74 million signing bonus before receiving the team’s franchise tag.
His 2015 season ended with him appearing in nine games and recording 54 receptions for 807 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 10 receiver out of 119 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a long-term extension for Jeffery as the news is available.